Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Joys of Science

I'm building a DC motor right now.

It's a tedious project, you need to wind a bunch of wire around some nails, then put it all together on a board.  I look forward to hooking it up tremendously.  It will be so satisfying.  It's cool when you see how something is supposed to work, then actually verify that it works how it's supposed to.

Last week I got to derive the equations for impedence matching, then verify them in the lab.  Super simple experiment, and the derivations weren't too bad if you have a decent calculus background.  We graphed our results and compared them with our theoretical results, and for some reason it's just super exciting to me when you see how close your equations match with reality.

The same thing goes for programming.  Instead of working out theoretical problems on paper, you get to put symbols into your computer to get it to do things.  Once you learn a few things you really start to see the possibilities for what could be accomplished, even if you can't get there yet.

All this to say that if you have the ability to take some quantitative science classes in your schooling I would highly recommend it.  Even if you aren't a math person, there are plenty of classes that don't require calculus.  It might be hard, but it is worth it to learn a little bit of the magic that makes the world work.  It's important to actually see how science works, and the best way to do that is to verify it for yourself.  Once you start seeing some results, it gives you more confidence in how it all goes together.

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